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Keene State parachute: Getting paid not to teach

August 16. 2018 11:54PM

After collecting a $327,225 severance package for no longer serving as president of Keene State College, Anne Huot has now accepted a $44,158 buyout to not teach in the upcoming academic year.

Huot wasn’t fired. She simply resigned to spend more time with our money.

Huot accepted a voluntary separation from Keene State last year, and neither Huot nor the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) have said what led to the parting of the ways.

Perhaps it was the smoking crater that Huot left where Keene State’s finances are supposed to be. Huot saw KSC enrollment drop by nearly 30 percent during her tenure, and she left the school with a $5.5 million projected deficit.

Huot took over in Keene in 2013, and USNH renewed Huot for a new five-year contract in 2015, despite the mounting problems on her watch.

After Huot’s departure, interim President Melinda Treadwell was forced to cut staff and services at KSC to balance the budget.

USNH also hands out annual bonuses to top university system administrators. Though supposedly merit-based, USNH deemed all four system presidents worthy of bonuses year after year.

Because of the generous contracts it signs with university system presidents, USNH has now paid Huot more than $370,000 just to go away. Perhaps USNH officials should examine their priorities before asking the Legislature for more taxpayer funding.

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